Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.”
“And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
STAYING ALERT AND READY. Jesus tells his disciples to be always on their toes. The end may come anytime. They should be prepared. For what? For the coming of the Son of Man.
The disciples must be able to interpret the end time as they correctly anticipate what is going to happen, learning from the fig tree. When it comes, the disciples should not miss the action and say, “We don’t know what is happening. We’re not informed.”
The First Reading comes from apocalyptic literature written around 200 years before Christ. It informs the long-persecuted Jewish people of the coming of the Son of Man. His coming from heaven gives hope to those who are righteous. The righteous are those who do not conform to the pagan culture and religion of the Greeks. In our times, they are people who have resisted adopting a secularized lifestyle. God is very much a part of their lives. They are prepared to welcome the Son of Man who will liberate them from oppressive rulers.
The Second Reading describes Christ sitting at God’s right hand forever after he offered one sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. He is different from the earthly priests in the Temple that offer daily sacrifices that do not take away our sins at all—an exercise in futility. At the end of time, Christ will come again to claim the final victory over evil.
We Christians must be watchful for the coming of Christ. We must be able to interpret what precedes it. We will not be surprised even if he comes unannounced.
Let us be alert. Let us not allow our guard down.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.